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Spokane authorities arrest 2 in identity theft ring

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 11, 2012, 1:25 p.m.

A multi-agency task force served search warrants on five Spokane County addresses today, looking for suspects and evidence in an identity theft ring with more than 300 victims in several states.

Many of the victims are active members of the military, said Craig Chamberlin, a spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Thousands of dollars have been stolen, accumulated through identity theft, he said.

“Victims don’t know they’ve been victimized until credit companies call them and say, ‘You’re past due,’” Chamberlin said.

The addresses where search warrants were served include a home at 3804 E. 36th Avenue along with residences at 611 S. Altamont Street, 1915 N. Waldo Road, 4208 N. Burns Road and 1616 E. Decatur Ave.

Michael Clarke, Jr. 24, was arrested on suspicion of forgery, theft and money laundering. A woman whose name was not released was arrested at the Decatur address. Authorities said she had methamphetamine and they found evidence she was involved in identity theft.

The agencies involved in the sting include the U.S. postal inspectors, the U.S. Secret Service, the Social Security Administration, the sheriff’s office investigative task force and support unit and the Spokane Police Department.

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